Dormagen enters the data economy

The Stadtmarketing- und Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft Dormagen (SWD) has now started the development of the Urban Data Platform (UDP) with a workshop together with the Cologne-based data specialist Senseering. This is an important step on the way to becoming a smart industrial city, a residential and business location with a state-of-the-art data infrastructure, which Dormagen wants to become with a view to creating value via digitization.

"If we expect companies to develop digital business models at the location, we must also offer the necessary digital infrastructure," says André Heryschek, Head of Smart City and Structural Change at SWD, formulating the overriding idea.

The data economy is the direction of travel that SWD Managing Director Michael Bison, in his role as the city's chief economic promoter, is setting out: "Ultimately, it's about earning money as a municipality in order to be able to maintain services for the general public. On the one hand, in the traditional way of generating tax revenue by attracting new businesses, and on the other hand, with digital solutions that we can sell to third parties."  Free of charge, on the other hand, the city corporation thinks in the direction of the citizens. There, it is a matter of "democratizing data," i.e., making it widely available. For example, access to visitor numbers in the city center or the amount of solar power generated on public roofs - two concrete topics that are currently being implemented. The technical basis for all use cases is the Urban Data Platform (UDP), figuratively speaking as a stage on which each user stages the program himself. "Digital citizen services are like theater plays. Only when different actors come together does something valuable emerge. The UDP should become that stage, where actors, data sources and use cases make life easier for businesses as well as citizens. A smart city becomes more sustainable and efficient through intelligent data management with the UDP," says Senseering Managing Director Daniel Trauth, explaining what he sees as the appeal of the Smart Industrial City approach, which is unique in Germany. 

Use cases are under development

The SIC team has implemented the first use cases with the support of external service providers, such as the pilot for visitor frequency measurement in downtown Dormagen. Others will be in the areas of photovoltaic monitoring, vacancy management and commercial space marketing. The sustainability goals of the city of Dormagen, which climate protection manager Lena van der Kamp has in mind, will also play a role. To compile the city of Dormagen's carbon footprint, she currently accesses a handful of different sources and manually merges the data sets. If all the data were stored in the UDP, a few mouse clicks would be all it would take to pull up-to-date values. 

Adding value by selling to other municipalities

"We are right on schedule with the UDP. With Senseering, we have a powerful partner who is working with us to develop a data platform as a product that we would like to make available to other municipalities as a service in the future. We are already in talks with the first interested parties," says Heryschek, who is delighted about the broad interest. Christoph Reitenberger, product manager for the UDP, adds: "In the next step, we will discuss within the city group which data should be evaluated for internal purposes and which should be made available externally." Both could be done via the digital twin, for which a user interface will be developed next year.

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Smart Industrial City is a joint project of Stadtmarketing- und Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft Dormagen and Currenta, operator of the Chemparks Leverkusen, Dormagen and Krefeld.

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